The iPod was a series of portable media players made by Apple. It came in multiple form factors over five separate product lines. An iPod synced music from a person's iTunes music library, allowing them to carry part of their music collection anywhere. The iPod could play a variety of audio formats like MP3 and AAC files, including DRM-protected music from the iTunes Music Store. Some later models could also display photos and play videos.
Apple released the first iPod in 2001. Roughly the size of a deck of cards, it was available with either 5 or 10 GB of storage on a small internal hard drive. You controlled it using a mechanical scroll wheel surrounded by several buttons that controlled menu navigation and audio playback. It synced and charged its battery over Firewire and only supported Macs — Windows support did not come until its second generation model. Later revisions upgraded the LCD screen from monochrome to full color, changed from Firewire to USB via a proprietary dock connector, and added support for video playback.
Other iPod models followed the original, which was renamed the iPod Classic. The hard drive-based iPod Mini and flash memory-based iPod Nano were smaller versions of the original iPod. The iPod Shuffle removed the screen entirely and could either shuffle songs during playback or play them in order. The touchscreen-equipped iPod Touch was the final model, resembling an iPhone without cellular networking. It could connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi, use built-in apps, and eventually access the iOS App Store.
Apple discontinued the iPod line in 2022. It was slowly made obsolete by smartphones that included media playback alongside many other features. Streaming music services that allowed people to access a massive library over a mobile connection became more popular than purchasing individual songs and albums from digital music stores. With those changes, most people no longer needed to carry a dedicated device for their music.